Last night was my first time ordering an internet pay-per-view, and I keep reading that this technology is going to be the future. Really? Because when you order pay-per-view via your HD provider, the televised pay-per-views look a million times better than something streamed over the internet. Then again, ROH’s internet pay-per-views has more wrestling for half the price of WWE and TNA shows.
So with that being said, welcome back to The Wrestling Times! ROH took center stage this weekend, crowned new champions, and showcased some blockbuster match-ups. So let’s get right down to it an discuss… you guessed it… WRESTLING!
Emotions ran high on Friday Night as Charlie Haas (with the Haas of Pain) and Shelton Benjamin defeated Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli to become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions. Haas and Benjamin came to Ring of Honor because they wanted to get back to their roots, they wanted to wrestle. And though they were The (Self-Proclaimed) World’s Greatest Tag Team back in the WWE, they proved to the wrestling fans and, most importantly, to themselves that they are Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
The Kings of Wrestling had reigned as the champs for an astounding 363 days, since winning them at “The Big Bang!” internet pay-per-view against The Briscoe Brothers. The Kings had honorably defended those belts against such top caliber teams as The Motor City Machine Guns, The American Wolves, The All Night Express, Colt Cabana and El Generico, Kevin Steen and Steve Corino, and, of course, Jay and Mark Briscoe. In their tenth title defense, they lost the belts to Haas and Benjamin, but it was lost in one helluva match.
But not everyone left in high spirits from Friday’s show, as “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels failed to capture the ROH World Title to accompany his ROH World Television Title. Eddie Edwards was successful in his first title defense since winning the belt two weeks ago at “Manhattan Mayhem IV” in NYC. With the wrestling fans split on their decision on who should win, these two left everything in the ring, and the fans on their feet. Yet, after failing to put away Edwards with Angel’s Wings and the BME, Daniels emotions grew to that of desperation. Edwards capitalized on Daniels’ vulnerability with two Die Hard cross-legged Fisherman Busters (one from off the top turnbuckle) to put away the challenger. And the story directly after was Christopher Daniels refusing to honor the Code of Honor.
The Hunt still continues for Davey Richards, who some have said to be the next World Champ. On Friday night, Davey and Roderick Strong, accompanied by Truth Martini, had a rematch from “Final Battle 2010.” This time, the result was the opposite, as Richards (after knocking out Truth) forced Strong to submit in the middle of the ring. However, Strong is no longer the champion, which makes the victory less fulfilling.
Just a few hours ago, Jim Cornette stated that Davey Richards had an unfortunate situation, having suffered a third degree concussion, at Final Battle, but since then, hasn’t lost a match. Therefore, Cornette stirred the pot (though he claims he wasn’t) by attempting to book Davey Richards in a World Title match against Eddie Edwards. On the day that The American Wolves would reunite to take on the new ROH World Tag Champs in a non-title bout, putting doubts into the friendship of Richards and Edwards is never a good thing. Davey refused the challenge because he stated that it was Eddie’s time, which then had Edwards thinking that Davey thinks he could beat him. The Champ then brought up that not for nothing, he beat him the last time for the TV Title, so who’s to say that his reign as the World Champion would end?
The main event to conclude ROH taking center stage in Atlanta, Georgia, was the new ROH World Tag Team Champions Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin against the ROH World Champion Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards. More than seven years removed from holding championship gold, Haas and Benjamin, now holding gold, proved to the wrestling fans that they were not just a special attraction as they tore down the house with The American Wolves. Especially the final moments, for which, if anyone saw the match can attest to, the mirage of Stereo German Suplexes executed between all four men was incredible, ending the exchange with Stereo roll overs by The Wolves only to get a 2-count. The Wolves then proceeded with Edwards’ Achilles lock on Haas, and Ricards’ Ankle lock on Benjamin. But in the end, it was Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team that left with the victory and all four men knelt down in the center of the ring and embraced the other for a phenomenal match. Honor indeed took center stage in Atlanta, Georgia.
Afterwards, some heated words between Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards may grant Jim Cornette the golden opportunity to book that Championship match.
The other big story to leave Ring of Honor today was Christopher Daniels joining The House of Truth. From main event one night to upper midcard bout the next, “The Fallen Angel” destroyed HoT’s Michael Elgin during the first half of the show. Then, after a miraculous win for El Generico against Roderick Strong in their “SoCal Showdown II” Rematch, Daniels made the surprise heel turn by assisting Strong, Truth, and Elgin in attacking both Generico and Colt Cabana, who came to his friend’s aid. Fans were extremely vocal over the turn of Christopher Daniels, but if you have ever been to a Ring of Honor show, you know that it wasn’t PG.
Of course, “Honor Takes Center Stage” had plenty of other great match-ups including Mark and Jay Briscoe against The All Night Express, Kings of Wrestling against Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly, Colt Cabana against Dave Taylor, and Homicide against Tommaso Ciampa, but I want to talk about the Women of Honor matches before ending this post.
On Friday night, “The Queen of Wrestling” Sara Del Rey and Serena Deeb lost to Joshi wrestlers Hiroyo Matsumoto and Ayumi Kurihara in a preliminary match to the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship match held on Saturday. Hiroyo Matsumoto and Ayumi Kurihara have wrestled on SHIMMER Women Athletes for the past few volumes. Matsumoto is a former SHIMMER Tag Team Champion with Misaki Ohata, losing the belts to the current champions Daizee Haze and Tomoka Nakagawa. Since winning the belts with Nakagawa, Daizee has become quite the rule breaker, emulating the behavior of her partner.
Now, this is the first time that I have seen these Joshi wrestlers, so if you are lost by the names, you are not alone. But from the few times that I have seen Japanese women wrestlers, they have always amazed me, and that was no different from these two Women of Honor matches. Matsumoto is freakishly strong, and has a love for dealing out punishment. The image that has stayed with me is Haze and Ayumi wrapped around the upper body of Matsumoto, who drops knee first into the gut of Nakagawa. Incredible! Despite Kurihara and Matsumoto the clear favorites to win, Nakagawa and Haze stole the victory and retained their championships.
That’s it for this post. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch ROH’s “Honor Takes Center Stage” available for purchase from GoFightLive.tv.
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